Sunday, April 13, 2014

April Showers: 3-D Bowtie

Thanks to all who left comments about their favorite quilting tool, gadget, or notion on the blog post below.  I asked Matthew to pick a random winner, and he chose Jeanne Gwin. 

Jeanne, please send your mailing address to, and we’ll send you your packet of Wonder Clips.  Congratulations!

Soooo…. I’ve been collecting Bonnie & Camille cut goods for a couple of months now, and finally finished enough other projects to treat myself.  I couldn’t wait to start stitching with the fun & fresh April Showers collection.

First, a tough decision… fat quarter bundle, layer cake, mini charm, charm… hmmm…


I would have loved to unbundle those fat quarters and start a bed sized quilt.  But, not today.  Hopefully, soon!

Instead, I settled on a charm square quilt (the pattern actually specified (3) packs of mini charms, but I thought it would be easier to work with 5” squares rather than 2.5. This little 3-D Bowtie pattern in the Moda Candy Book  has been calling my name for a couple of weeks now, and I thought it would look cute in the bright small scale April Showers prints


First, I sorted off  suitable charm squares:


Some of the prints were either too white, or too large in scale:


Then, I cut (4) 2.5” squares from each of the 5” charms. The bowtie blocks took a little bit of practice to master, but I quickly got the hang of it. 

First, fold a print wrong sides together.  Lay it on a 2.5” background square:


Put a matching print, right sides together, on top, creating a little “sandwich”:


Align the edges, and stich down the side, creating a little folded tab:


Set the tab on top of a print square:


Add a background square to make a second little sandwich, and, again, stitch along the side:


The result is two sandwiches with a central tab:


The tab gets tucked between the two sandwiches, as they are sewn right sides together,  and forms a little 3D pouch (the center of the bowtie):


When the final seam is sewn, the result is so dang cute!


I had to really think about fabric placement for the directional stripes.  First this:


Then, this:


Then, this:



To make these:


This is a better picture of the little 3D center than the one above.  The little pouch in the center gets neatly tucked into the final seam.


The striped bowties are so crisp and pretty!


Fluffy helped  me sew, until she was booted from the cutting board, so I could carefully arrange…


More bowties!  The pattern only called for twenty, but I just couldn’t narrow it down to any less than 30.


I added a 2” inner border, and a 3 inch outer border:


Ta Da!  Ready for quilting.  Finished size: 28” x 32”


Kits are now available:


You can find one here. 

Kit sells for $35.00, including backing, plus you do need the Moda Candy “Oh So Sweet” Pattern Booklet ($10.00).

~ Happy Quilting.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Molly’s Wren’s Friends

Well, it seems I’m on a roll with the bright & cheerful fabric choices.

I fell in love with Thimble Blossom’s “Juggle” quilt pattern a couple of months ago, and actually bought the Moda Honeycombs in the Happy Go Lucky collection shown on the pattern cover.  I’ve started that version, and I do love it.  “Happy Go Lucky” is very crisp, retro, and looks great in this pattern.


But…  I kept thinking about the Wren’s Friends prints from Gina Martin.  So friendly.  So cheerful.  So fun.

Wren’s Friends reminds me of the wide-open wildflower meadows in Waterton National Park near my home in Alberta.  Blossoms, birds, leaves, and sprigs…  just a little bit “granola girl!”


Finally, I gave in to the temptation.  I ordered the supplies, and got started!


First, I had to admire the cheerful prints…  The print on brown will be the backing.  It’s an “apron print” (the large scale design is only on half of the width of the bolt… it tapers to a small scale floral on the other half of the bolt.


The quilt was a snap to make.  Basically, off white background triangles are stitched to opposing sides of the honeycomb hexagons. I chain pieced the units.  Wait to clip them apart until after they are pressed (it’s easier!)


I recommend the Clearview 60 degree triangle ruler for cutting the 60 degree triangles (though, you could make a template, the ruler is quick, easy, and very accurate).


A few pieced honeycombs are scattered in for interest.  Each pack of Moda Honeycombs includes the plastic template shown here, so it’s easy to cut the hexagons down to the right size.

Tip: tape the hexagon template to the back of a small acrylic ruler, aligning one of the edges with the ruler edge. Then, lay the aligned edge on your fabric to cut the hexagons.  That way, you won’t slice the edge of the hexagon template with your rotary cutter.

The quilt is assembled in rows.  The top and bottom of each row are finished with off-white honeycombs and 60 degree triangles. In Bismarck, I arranged my rows on my big cutting table:


When I got to Hettinger, I used my design wall, and that worked much better!  I could see every piece, and arrange and rearranged to my heart’s content.

I love my design wall.  It’s big enough for a queen sized quilt (without borders).  Wes made it for me.  It’s great!  If you want to make one for your sewing room, you’ll need a big empty wall.  Then a piece of 108” wide flannel quilt back, some boards, a staple gun, and screws to mount it to the wall. 


As soon as I put the quilt up on the design wall,  I figured out why I love it so much.  It is the perfect quilt for Miss Molly, my precious god-daughter.


She’s wild, she’s free, she sings like a bird, and dances like a diva.  She prefers princess dresses to regular clothing.  When she smiles, she fills my heart with love and happiness. I can’t wait to get this top quilted and snuggle her up in it. It suits her perfectly!




Molly’s Wren’s Friends Quilt Kits now available, here.

Juggle Quilt pattern now available, here.

Clearview 60 degree triangle ruler, here.

Happy Quilting ~ Laura

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Perfect Spring Quilt on a Perfect Spring Day


After Kari & I finished our blog entry last Saturday, I spent the rest of the day sewing in the sunshine. After our long Dakota winter, I couldn’t have been happier to open the window, let the fresh air in, and spend a peaceful day in my  sewing room with my furry friends…

I started by squaring up my applique blocks to a perfect 8.5”



The Over the Rainbow batiks are all so pretty… it was fun to sort the charm squares and arrange in pairs.  There were quite a few extra charms, so I set the browns aside.  No brown stars for me!


Then, I chose my four favorite charm squares, and started on the star blocks.  I didn’t realize (‘til I read the pattern Surprised smile) that there are actually very few flying geese in this quilt.  You make two flying geese for the corner stars, one flying goose for the stars around the outside. The remaining star points are created by adding contrasting stitch and flip corners to the sashing rectangles.


These awesome little clover clips kept me organized:

A header scrap helps piece the flying geese perfectly.  That way, the sewing machine is ready to “’grab” the little corners and stitch through them perfectly (rather than chewing them up and pushing them into the stitch plate.


Do your cats help you sew?  Mine do.  Especially when the window is open and the sun is shining Cat face



It was so satisfying to see the stars come together with the applique blocks.


My favorite star is the bright orange one… it reminds me of my kid, who loves to wear the brightest orange you can imagine!

On a perfect spring day, with the sun shining, the birds singing, and the cats purring,  I finished the perfect spring quilt top (not saying my piecing is perfect… it’s not.)  But, I love this quilt, and it’s perfect in my mind, crooked seams and all!



I chose a bright orange Hoffman batik for the backing.  The blue will be the binding.


I ended up with a pretty decent little scrap pile of colorful batiks.  Note, the wonder clips, again.  I’m torn between making more tuffets, or a colorful little mini quilt with my scraps.  Hmmm… decisions, decisions… Winking smile


Another shipment of Spring Sprouts kits are on their way from Moda.  Most of them are pre-sold, but we do have just a few left (at the time I post this blog).  If you’re waiting on your kit, expect shipment from ND on 3/31 or 4/1. 

Items mentioned in this blog:

Leave me a comment, and let me know what your favorite quilting notion, tool or gadget is, and I’ll choose one lucky winner next week to receive a 10 pack of the Red Wonder clips…

Happy Quilting ~ Laura